Vinaya Pitaka (3): Khandhaka

by I. B. Horner | 2014 | 386,194 words | ISBN-13: 9781921842160

The English translation of the Khandhaka: the second book of the Pali Vinaya Pitaka, one of the three major ‘baskets’ of Therevada canonical literature. It is a collection of various narratives. The English translation of the Vinaya-pitaka (third part, khandhaka) contains many Pali original words, but transliterated using a system similar to the I...

Ordination procedure

Kd.1.76.1 Now at that time ordained (monks) were to be seen who were (afflicted by) leprosy and boils and eczema and consumption and epilepsy.[1] They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

“I allow you, monks, when one is being ordained to ask him about things which are stumbling-blocks[2] for him.[3] And thus, monks, should he be asked: Have you diseases like this: leprosy, boils, eczema, consumption, epilepsy? Are you a human being? Are you a man? Are you a freeman? Are you without debts? Are you not in the royal service? Have you your parents’ consent? Are you full twenty years of age? Are you complete as to bowl and robes? What is your name? What is the name of your preceptor?”


Kd.1.76.2 Now at that time monks asked those wishing for ordination, but who were not instructed, about the things which are stumbling-blocks. Those wishing for ordination were at a loss, they were abashed, they were unable to reply. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

I allow you, monks, having instructed first, afterwards Vin.1.94 to ask about the things which are stumbling-blocks.

Kd.1.76.3 They instructed just there in the midst of the Order. As before, those wishing for ordination were at a loss, they were abashed, they were unable to reply. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

BD.4.121I allow you, monks, having instructed aside, to ask about the things which are stumbling-blocks in the midst of the Order. And thus, monks, should one be instructed: First, he should be invited to choose[4] a preceptor; having invited him to choose a preceptor, a bowl and robes should be pointed out to him (with the words): ‘This is a bowl for you, this is an outer cloak, this is an upper robe, this is an inner robe; go and stand in such and such a place’.

Kd.1.76.4 Ignorant, inexperienced (monks) instructed them. Those wishing for ordination, but who were not (properly) instructed, were at a loss, they were abashed, they were unable to reply. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, one should not be instructed by an ignorant, inexperienced (monk). Whoever (such) should instruct, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to instruct by means of an experienced, competent monk.

Kd.1.76.5 Those who were not agreed upon instructed. They told this matter to the Lord. He said:

Monks, one should not be instructed by one who is not agreed upon. Whoever (such) should instruct, there is an offence of wrong-doing. I allow you, monks, to instruct by means of one who is agreed upon. And thus, monks, should he be agreed upon: oneself may be agreed upon by oneself or another may be agreed upon by another[5]. And how is oneself to be agreed upon by oneself? The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order hear me. So and so wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. If it seems right to the Order, I would instruct so and so.’ Thus may oneself be agreed upon by oneself.

Kd.1.76.6 “And how is another to be agreed upon by another? The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: ‘Honoured sirs, let the Order hear me. So and so wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. If it seems right to the Order, so and so could instruct so and so.’ Thus may another be agreed upon by another.

Kd.1.76.7 “The monk who is agreed upon, having approached the one who wishes for ordination, should speak thus to him: ‘Listen, BD.4.122 so and so. This is for you a time for truth (-speaking), a time for fact (-speaking). When I am asking you in the midst of the Order about what is,[6] you should say, ‘It is,’ if it is so; you should say, ‘It is not,’ if it is not so. Do not be at a loss, do not be abashed. Thus I will ask[7] you: ‘Have you diseases like this … What is your preceptor’s name?’

Kd.1.76.8 They[8] arrived together. They should not arrive together. The instructor having come first, the Order should be informed by him, saying: “Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. So and so wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. Vin.1.95 He has been instructed by me. If it seems right to the Order, let so and so come.” He should be told: “Come.” Having made him arrange his upper robe over one shoulder, having made him honour the monks’ feet, having made him sit down on his haunches, having made him salute with joined palms, he should be made to ask for ordination, saying: “Honoured sirs, I ask the Order for ordination; honoured sirs, may the Order raise me up out of compassion.[9] And a second time, honoured sirs, … And a third time, honoured sirs, I ask the Order for ordination; honoured sirs, may the Order raise me up out of compasson.”

Kd.1.76.9 The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: “Honoured sirs, let the Order listen to me. This one, so and so, wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. If it seems right to the Order I could ask so and so about the things which are stumbling-blocks. Listen, so and so. This is for you a time for truth (-speaking), a time for fact BD.4.123 (-speaking). I am asking you about what is. You should say, ‘It is’, if it is so; you should say, ‘It is not,’ if it is not so. Have you diseases like this: … What is your preceptor’s name?”

Kd.1.76.10 The Order should be informed by an experienced, competent monk, saying: “Honoured sirs, let the Order hear me. This one, so and so, wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. He is quite pure in regard to the things which are stumbling-blocks, he is complete as to bowl and robes. So and so is asking the Order for ordination by means of the preceptor so and so. If it seems right to the Order, let the Order ordain so and so by means of the preceptor so and so. This is the motion.

Kd.1.76.11 “Honoured sirs, let the Order hear me. This one, so and so, wishes for ordination from the venerable so and so. He is quite pure in regard to the things which are stumbling-blocks, he is complete as to bowl and robes. So and so is asking the Order for ordinaton by means of the preceptor so and so. The Order is ordaining so and so by means of the preceptor so and so. If the ordination of so and so by means of the preceptor so and so is pleasing to the venerable ones, let them be silent; he to whom it is not pleasing should speak.

Kd.1.76.12 “And a second time I speak forth this matter … And a third time I speak forth this matter … he to whom it is not pleasing should speak. “So and so is being ordained by the Order by means of the preceptor so and so. It is pleasing to the Order, therefore it is silent. Thus do I understand this.”

Told is the (Formal) Act of Ordination.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Cf. above, Kd.1.39.1.

2.

antarāyike dhamme, cf. Vin.4.134 (BD.3.21, where see n.5).

3.

Cf. Vin.2.271f. for the questions put to nuns on their ordination.

4.

gāhāpetabbo; cf. gāhāpaka at Vin.3.246 (BD.2.122, where see n.1).

5.

Cf. below, Kd.2.15.6.

6.

yaṃ jātam. Vin-a.1033 says about that which is produced, jāta, has arisen, is existing in your body. This can only refer to the questions on the diseases. The Pali in such cases is idiomatic: “Is there for you a disease?” So one could say, “I am asking you about what exists, yaṃ jātam (as a disease for you), and you should say there is, atthi (such a disease for me) it being so, santaṃ; there is not, n’atthi, it being not so, asantaṃ”. But since in fact not all the questions are about diseases, I have translated as above, the better to emphasise the general necessity to answer all the questions truthfully in accordance with the preliminary reminder, “This is a time for truth and fact”.

7.

pucchissaṃ.

8.

The instructor and his candidate. Nothing to show whether the Lord is supposed to continue to give these instructions, or whether they are incorporated without being attributed to him.

9.

Cf. above, Kd.1.29.2.

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